MUSICAL INTERLUDE reason, there are no Indian singing teachers, as we understand them, and no schools of voice production ; the few Indian singers who have obtained wide reputations have won them for reasons which are only remotely connected with the vocal cords—their looks, their personality, their repertoire, their publicity—and, of course, their reputation for holiness.1 This is a simple but fundamental point, and until we have grasped it, Indian music will be meaningless. The fact that I have not grasped it will become apparent in the following description of the instruments of the Maharajah's orchestra. It was written immediately after returning from the concert. To-day I might be inclined to modify or, at least, to annotate it. We will let it stani. if only because it conveys fairly vividly the first impact of Indian music on a mind trained in the traditions of the West. Here, then, are the Maharajah's Court Musicians. 5 Veenas. This is a sort of off-colour guitar. As a decoration it is charming, elaborately inlaid with silver, resting on a green lacquered base. Played at a distance, in a high wind, it might soothe the savage breast, but it is hardly a thing to leave in the vicinity of nervous persons. 2 Thumbooris. This is a Veena that stands up instead of sitting down. 2 Mrudangams. This faintly resembles a drum. 1 Tabala. This is really another Mrudangam; it faintly resembles two drums, one sharp and one flat. 1 Flute. Of the Sic lian variety, sweet and plaintive, but quite inaudible when played within a hundred yards of the afore- said tongue-twisters. 2 Violins. At least, they looked like violins. However, they were both fitted with trumpets. And there was one other significant difference.. .the strings were of wire instead of catgut. 1 This point is brought out very clearly in The Music of India, by Herbert Popley* B.A, (Oxford University Tress). It quotes an illnnanating comment by no less & person than Tagore, in the Adyar Bulletin, Madras. Tagore, discussing the singing of an Indian lady who had been trained in Europe, said: * In India, any finesse in ^ singing is regarded with contempt; no trouble is taken to make either voice or manner attractive. Singers are not ashamed if their top notes are cracked, their bass notes unnatural, their gestures violent. They take it to be their sole function to display their mastery over the forma and formalities of classic traditions."